Plasma concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid throughout human gestation

John L. Couvaras, Norman F. Gant, Jerry Kramer, Frederick Petty, Ronald R. Magness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Normal pregnant women are characterized by decreases in blood pressure and dramatic falls in systemic vascular resistance. This vasodilation is lost in pregnancies complicated by proteinuric hypertension (preeclampsia). Because gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is considered to be both an inhibitory neurotransmitter and an antihypertensive amino acid, we hypothesized that GABA levels might increase throughout gestation and might play a role in the vasodilatory alterations observed in normal pregnancy. Methods: Blood samples for measurement of plasma GABA by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) were obtained from 4 normal nonpregnant women, from 39 pregnant women at various times throughout gestation, and from 5 women with preeclampsia (37-40 weeks). Results: Normal pregnancy was associated with progressive increases (p < 0.01) in plasma GABA levels after the first trimester, reaching maximum values by 27-33 weeks of gestation. In term hypertensive pregnant women, GABA levels were 13 ± 3% lower (p < 0.048) as compared to gestational age-matched controls. During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, alterations in plasma GABA levels generally mirror changes in plasma volume and correspond inversely with known cardiovascular changes, for example, decreases in blood pressure and especially systemic vascular resistance. Conclusions: These changes in plasma GABA concentrations suggest a potential role for GABA in modulating cardiovascular adaptations in normal pregnancy and a possible role in the development of pregnancy-induced hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalHypertension in Pregnancy
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Fingerprint

Butyric Acid
Pregnancy
Pregnant Women
Pre-Eclampsia
Vascular Resistance
Blood Pressure
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
Plasma Volume
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Second Pregnancy Trimester
First Pregnancy Trimester
Vasodilation
Antihypertensive Agents
Gestational Age
Neurotransmitter Agents
High Pressure Liquid Chromatography
Hypertension
Amino Acids

Keywords

  • Amino acid
  • GABA
  • Hypertension
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Couvaras, J. L., Gant, N. F., Kramer, J., Petty, F., & Magness, R. R. (1993). Plasma concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid throughout human gestation. Hypertension in Pregnancy, 12(2), 153-162. https://doi.org/10.3109/10641959309079448

Plasma concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid throughout human gestation. / Couvaras, John L.; Gant, Norman F.; Kramer, Jerry; Petty, Frederick; Magness, Ronald R.

In: Hypertension in Pregnancy, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1993, p. 153-162.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Couvaras, JL, Gant, NF, Kramer, J, Petty, F & Magness, RR 1993, 'Plasma concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid throughout human gestation', Hypertension in Pregnancy, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 153-162. https://doi.org/10.3109/10641959309079448
Couvaras, John L. ; Gant, Norman F. ; Kramer, Jerry ; Petty, Frederick ; Magness, Ronald R. / Plasma concentrations of gamma-amino butyric acid throughout human gestation. In: Hypertension in Pregnancy. 1993 ; Vol. 12, No. 2. pp. 153-162.
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